Monday, February 26, 2007

Starting 28th with style.

After a very celebrated birthday on Friday, Saturday morning came with a vengeance. Allison was foresighted enough to get back to my apartment early in the night because she had a test bright and early Saturday morning. Now they told her it was a personality test, but she described it more as an IQ test. Luckily she is a genius and probably could pull high marks while hung-over. It was 4 hours, but broken up into 7 minute sections. She said it was like “go….stop! pencils down, flip the page,” etc.

Once she got back from her massive test, we got lunch at my favorite brunch place, Vinyl. Now I have Maria to thank for introducing it to me. The place is full of action figures and dolls (like Barbie) of celebrities placed into dioramas. Where else could you see the entire New Kids on the Block as Ken dolls posed in a mock early 1990’s concert. Plus the bathrooms are all themed. For example, the “Dolly” room has a Dolly Parton doll, full wall Dolly mosaic, and played only Dolly music. I started humming “work-in 9 to 5” while washing my hands.

It was at lunch when we decided we would spend the rest of the day drinking and watching movies. After we were buzzed we were going to get our palm read by a $5 fortune teller. We figured it would be interesting to hear what he/she had to say if we threw her off with drunkness. We were laughing so hard about the idea that we were punch drunk at the grocery store. Seriously, we were laughing so hard and giggling about it, the cash register lady probably though we didn’t need to buy anymore booze. Sadly, we ended up napping during ‘the Departed’ and never did get around to drinking and fortune telling. I know, who could possibly fall asleep during a bang them up, shoot them in the head drama like ‘the Departed’ but hey, Friday was rough.

Later, Allison and I met Jody out for dinner because she wanted to take me out for my birthday. Okay we hardly know each other, but hey, I’m not going to turn down a free meal. We let it slip to the waiter that we were out celebrating my birthday (okay just one day off, but since it was on Friday, you can count it for the entire weekend). Sure enough, I got another free dessert (tiramisu) with mandatory birthday candle. Hurrah…Birthdays rock!

So the plan was to get the gang together for one massive Birthday party. Farrell’s birthday was Sunday (Feb 25th) and mine was Friday (Feb 23rd). We figured this would be a good enough reason to get drunk….that and it was a Saturday…nuff said. We were going to meet up at this SoHo Hawaiian themed bar, but it was all rented out for a MTV staff party. Sad, I was looking forward to the flaming drinks and hula dancers. Anyway, we met at a staple bar in the East Village instead. For some reason there were balloon animals up in our section. Also there was a giant pink penis plastic bottle. It was huge (girth was the same as a coffee cup) and complete with veins and gonads. Bethany (note pretty intoxicated) wanted to drink out of it, but we refused to let her (goodness knows where that had been). Being the immature people we are, Ali unzipped his fly and inserted the fake falic device. He then walked around starting conversations with unsuspecting girls. The highlight was him posing for a picture with two girls. They were sitting down and he was standing up. Basically their heads were at eye level with the falsie and they still didn’t notice. I need to get that picture because it is sooo funny seeing the girls all smiling with their faces literally inches away from the pink protruding member.

The boys wanted to give Farrell an Irish Car Bomb (guniess and Irish whiskey) but the bar was not cooperative. They offered a can of guniess beer and a shot of whiskey. The boys asked for a glass so they can make the drink and that was beyond the bartender’s limited brain power. No worries because we skipped over to a favorite east village dive, Doc Holiday’s. There the boys finally got their car bombs and played buck hunter video game. First it was the golden tee boy craze, now buck hunter. Oh well, at least they think they are playing a real sport. While the boys were killing off white tail deer, I talked with Ali’s tag along friend (yep, can’t remember his name…typical Lindsay). Turns out he works as a film editor for Porn! He offered to hook me up with some free-bies, all I have to name is the type. He has seen it all and nothing shocks him anymore. Imagine that, you spend eight hours a day watching porn. Ah ha ha ha. He said he tunes it out and it no longer is a stimulant. The draw back is that he finds himself tuning it out while with his girlfriend. I think he phrased it as “well you just glaze over and then look down and realize what you are doing and then hope she didn’t catch you not paying attention to her”. Ah ha ha ha.

So the clock hit 3am, and we all turned into pumpkins. Actually, we felt just drunk enough but anymore would push us into the puke, black out, or sleep stage. The boy and I left to catch some pizza slices (man I gotta stop eating that fourth meal at night). While walking down the street, the boy got a call from his old frat pledge dad Brian Fisher (aka Fish). Turns out, he was in town visiting his little brother and they were out drinking at the Horseshoe bar which was only two blocks from our current position. Now there is a fraternity connection between Fish and Marshall, but I also knew Fish. He was a KSU engineer and one of the best guy friends of my good friend Katie Kabler/Evel. Anyway it was a great reunion but in jeopardy of being cut short by “last call”. The boys had the great idea of buying some six packs and heading back to Marshall’s cave. Okay, Marshall’s apartment (which was only three blocks away) is so small that two people make it feel crowded (and four people damn near made it a phone booth). The boys had fun doing the secret hand shake and saluting the bar sign that Marshall stole while in college (seriously, I just shook my head and tried to fall asleep on the sofa). Finally they ran out of beer and everyone left….at 6am! Yep it has been a long while since I last headed home from a night out while the morning sun was already up. Glad to hear I am still acting like a 21 year old even after 7 years.

Happy Birthday to Me!

Hurrah, birthdays are the best. Ever since I started calling myself an adult, birthdays have been equivalent to a “get out of jail free” card. Seriously, you can get drunk, dance wildly, and be the biggest goof as long as you end every sentence with “well it is my birthday, yeeeeeah”! Now I have had some pretty amazing birthdays, but number 28 might be the best one in the last few years (and that is saying something because 25, 26, and 27 were all a rock’in good time).

Friday night (the actual day of the birthday), my super fun friend Allison flew into town. Now she had to take a test on Saturday to get into this assistant directors program, but it was sure convenient that it also fell in line with my birthday. You may also remember Allison from her infamous New Years Eve experience in a previous blog post. Anyway, whenever her and I hang out together, it is like the perfect storm. Seriously, she always has these crazy funny experiences and stories. When you combine the two of us, it is like a double bounce on the trampoline.

Allison and I have a tradition of sending each other mixed cds. Well the one she gave me this time was full of songs geared towards putting you in the mood for love. She kept raving about the last song. However, I was not allowed to listen to it until I had heard the entire cd because it was like building to the end climax. Well the last song did prove to be awesome. It sounded like a cheesy 1970’s Donnie and Marie church fundraiser song with a xylophone as the main instrument of choice. However, the lyrics would put it in a whole different category. The opening line in the chorus was “do you take it in the ass”. No imagine a sunny singsong female voice sing that with special emphasis on ass (more like aaaasssss). Ah ha ha ha. Here is one verse or chorus or whatever:
Do you take it in the ass
You are beautiful and curvy
But if you are not a little pervey
You and I will never last
Unfortunately, I cannot figure out to download it into the blog. What a riot.

So Allison and I met Kate and her cousin (I swear I knew her name but the massive amount of booze has made me doubt what it was) out for dinner at this West Village authentic Mexican place. Since we didn’t have a reservation, we mentioned to the hostess that it was my birthday. Yep we got the sweet table/booth. Hurrah! While waiting for Kate & cousin, Allison and I ordered sangrias. The drinks were soooo cute. They came out in little individual pitchers. Plus they were super cheap as well. Double score! Anyway, when we were ready for the check, the staff came out with a huge slice of cake con leche (milk cake) and glasses of Champaign. The cake even had a candle! Hurrah! It was sooooo good and made even better with the candle. I think if you want to jazz something up, you should put a candle on it. Seriously, next time you go into an interview, put a candle on your resume and have the guy blow it out. Who doesn’t like blowing out birthday candles….I mean you get to make a wish each time!

After dinner, we headed over to a Village bar called Kenny’s Castaways. It is a small venue that often has local live music. Well the boyfriend, Marshall, just joined a rock band last month. The band’s lead singer left for CA and they went out hunting for a new one. They had already booked Friday’s show, so Marshall had three weeks to write and learn six new songs. All of our friends were excited to finally see him perform….that is with an actual band (his nights doing karaoke do not count). He gets up there and they rock out! One thing we all noticed was his shirt. He was wearing a red plaid butten down collared shirt with (get this) short sleeves. Allison described it best as a junior accountant from Washington state. Anyway, the poor guy talked to us afterwards. Independantly we all said “yeah you guys sounded great, but your shirt…hmmm”. When he finally got around to me, and I said the same thing, he sighed and said “really, everyone hates my shirt? I just bought it yesterday specifically for this show. What should I do….burn it?” Awww sad sad little clueless boy. The story is made even better by the fact that it was slightly too big so he pinned it in the back. He couldn’t turn around while performing. Okay I shouldn’t take joy in someone else’s misery but ah ha ha ha!

After the show, the crew (Ali, Bree, Farrell, Bethany) headed a few doors open to the bar that Marshall works at. Basically we were looking to get free drinks before heading out to a late night dance club that Ali’s friend Fadel is promoting. Anyway, Marshall told his boss we were out celebrating my birthday and his first band show. The guy (who usually is pretty rigid) surprised us all with a free bottle of Champaign! Yeah, birthdays are the ultimate VIP hookup.

One too many glasses later, Marshall and I hit the road for some late night eats. Now I have often heard Marshall’s neighbor (kindly deemed “gay-bor”) blasting Elton John, Cher, or some techno combination of the both late at night. At the food joint, I spotted a candle on the counter. We convinced the clerk to give it to us (since it was my birthday) for three cents (our change). Being the Rent fan that Marshall is, we started drunkenly singing “would you light my candle” on the way home. Just when we got to the stair landing, gay-bor flung open the door and joined in the last part of the song. What a treat it was finally meeting the guy behind the door. I imagined him bigger but he was only about 5 feet tall and 100 pounds soaking wet. He wanted us to stay and hang out with him, but his apartment was completely devoid of any furniture. Seriously, the place had a few piles of clothes and one mattress on the floor. Depressing, but hey it is New York City.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Live Let Down

I signed up for Live with Regis and Kelly tickets months ago. I selected dates that would coincide with my Mother’s Spring visit to the city because you know moms love that stuff. Anyway, a week ago, they sent me two tickets for….February 14th. Huh? I signed up for April. I figured Valentines Day would be one not to miss since they may do extra special things for the audience (hey I could use a spa treatment or sweets, etc). The boy agreed to be my plus one however I didn’t get my hopes up because getting up before noon is not his forte. Thanks to a rocking Feb 13th (see previous entry about the Hinder concert), he could not be dragged out of bed in the morning. I too felt like a freight train had run me down, so I didn’t put any effort into dressing for the show. I just hope I didn’t look like the token funky (smell wise) completely hung over person in the crowd. I shuffle out the door and brave the winter storm. Okay for those who may not know, a massive ice/snow storm hit the NYC area on Feb 14th. Ugh! I arrive at the studio at 7:45am (the ticket said arrive between 7:30 and 8:00am) and there is a line around the corner. Huh? I walked up the security guard and tell him I have a ticket….let me in. He tells me that everyone has a ticket and to head to the back of the line. Okay, the line is outside! Did I mention it was in the single digits with tiny little ice pellets pinging me in the head/face! A group of 50 of us were stuck outside with the remainder packed into the small lobby. After about ten minutes of pure Hell, one hillbilly lady (seriously, she was a hillbilly with missing teeth, ratty big bang hair, tapered Lee jeans, and a menthol cigarette in her mouth) shouted to the guard “I didn’t come all the way from Kentucky to freeze my ass out in the cold”! I guess that snapped some sense into him and he let us cram into the lobby. Now imagine 200 people crammed into a small lobby with no where to sit/lean/whatever. Thankfully it was heated, but we had to leave our coats on because there was not enough room to remove them. Yep we all stood there shoulder to shoulder, sweating in our winter jackets for get this……an hour! I figured that if they wanted us there no later than 8am, and the show starts at 9am, they would usher us in and prep us around 8:15am. Nope! They let us into the studio at 8:50am! We had just a couple of minutes to rip off our jackets and scramble into our seats before the producer came out to “warm” us up. The producer was like “gosh you guys are not a happy audience today, liven up a bit, now give me some cheers!” I seriously wanted to give him the finger instead. Just as we were about to go on the air, Regis and Kelly entered the studio. Now Regis is a shorty short man! He was barely taller than Kelly, and she is no basketball player. I think Regis was drunk or on medication too. He kept acting funny off camera like shuffling around the studio and baby talking to props. Kelly kept rolling her eyes at him and you could tell she was pretty annoyed.

The show started with Regis and Kelly talking about nothing important. They then moved to the trivia part where some hillbilly caller tries to answer a question for a prize. Win or loose, the caller gets a consolation gift for herself and one member of the audience. Now that day’s gift was and 8 piece place setting of China valued at $500. Before the show, they handed us recipe cards with a number written on them (high class I tell you). We had to memorize the number and hide it away so they would look more organized on camera. Anyway, my number was 103. The caller had to guess a number between 1 and 200 (the number of audience members). She said, “one….oh……..two”. I was soooo close. I wonder if they caught me on film looking so excited after the “oh” and looking completely dejected after she said “two”. Well what would I do with $500 worth of China anyway.

The first guest was Nick Cage. He walked in so suave and talked with this sultry voice. I swear he was going to sell us a used car or something because he was so slick. He was on the show promoting his new movie Ghost Rider. Right behind the camera lens was a guy holding huge white cue cards. I was able to read them and they said “ask him about his new movie”, “ask about riding a motorcycle”, “bring up he won the Oscar for Leaving Las Vegas”. Well drunk/stoned Regis was all over the place. He went off on some tangent and you could tell Nick was completely unprepared for it. Kelly was completely useless just nodding her head like a bobble doll. I thought the cue card guy was going to have a seizure because he was shaking so bad. I guess he was trying to tell Regis, “talk to him about the movie, that is why he is here”! At commercial break, Regis took off and started wandering around the set and baby talking again. Nick was completely perplexed probably thinking “I’m an Oscar winner and a freaking Copula, is this guy brushing me off”! Kelly then leaned over and tried to make idle chit-chat with him, but you could tell he was not comfortable.

The remainder of the show was pre-taped. This means that they film it some previous day and show it as if it was live. I figured it out that you know it is pre-taped if you can hear the audience, but you don’t see them (where as the live ones they scan the audience when the guest says something funny, etc). They shut off the lights and left. A few camera guys hung out on the set couches to make sure we didn’t get out of our seats or something. Yep, we sat there for the next 40 minutes in a dark, empty studio. I kept thinking, okay they will come out and do more of the show and give us gifts. WRONG! At 9:55am, the producers came back in and told us to leave. Actually he told us that we could stick around and go to the Rachel Ray show, but everyone was pretty dejected by then.

So that is my first (and now only) live talk show taping. I got up at the crack of dawn to spend more time waiting in a crowded line or sitting in a dark studio than seeing actual people. Why don’t’ they talk to Disney and just have robots do it? Anyway, still pretty sad they didn’t give away anything after putting us through all that. The good thing is now I know I am not missing anything worth watching while in the 8-5 work day.

Here is a picutre of an empty studio. Yeah I was THAT bored!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Twas the night before Valentines day...

I apologize in advance if I am all lovely and gushing because this was my first Valentines Day with an actual Valentine. Hurrah! My gift to the boy was tickets to one of his favorite rock bands, Hinder. The show was Tuesday night starting around 7pm. He was going to meet me over at my apartment after work since I live less than two blocks from the concert hall. At 5 I rushed home to quickly change, grab a bite to eat, and guzzle some beer before heading out to the show. When I opened the door to my apartment, the place wall all lit up with candles. I peaked into the kitchen, and the boy was there elbow deep in pots and pans. He told me to change and dinner would be ready in ten minutes. Okay, hooooow sweet and romantic. He evidently came over to my place at 3pm loaded with bags of groceries. He told his plan to the doorman who let him into my apartment. Ahhhh! Because I hate doing dishes (silly dishwashing machine in Chicago totally spoiled me) he actually did my dishes before cooking up a master feast. I’m telling you, honey crusted chicken, yummy special mashed potatoes (my favorite of his cooking), and corn/bean/tomato salsa. Whew! The only sad thing was that the recipe was intended for four people, so we had tons of food! We only made dents into the massive servings and were too full to have dessert. FYI dessert was going to be something involving ice cream, caramel, nuts, whipped cream (well at least I think that was for dessert), and these sugar/cinnamon tortillas. Mmmmn, I am sooo lucky.

After stuffing ourselves with food, we headed over to the concert. While listening to the opening bands (each had one or two hit songs, but that was about it) a couple next to us said: you have to celebrate with us! I asked if they were celebrating V-day like us to which the girl shouted, “no we are celebrating his divorce”! They obviously did not want to drink alone, so they kept buying us shots and beers. Seriously, we were double-fisting all night! Live music and free drinks….must have been heaven! Anyway, we were thoroughly smashed when we left (well I didn’t remember leaving and he didn’t remember getting pizza on the way home even though we had three more days worth of left-overs at home). Ah ha ha ha! Oh and no pictures because they were not allowed at the concert. Fun haters!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Quick breather

Boring yourself the time and stop reading this now. Basically not much to report and no fun pictures to post. The news is that my project has gone on hold for at least a month. This means the project has come to a screeching hault. The office is composed of one quarter Chicago-ians, one quarter Brits, and one half NYC people. Now some of the NYC people are from NYC firms. The other NYC people are ones the Chicago and London based firms hired locally. My company relocated me from Chicago and hired two girls locally. Anyway, now that the project is stalled, there are three options: 1 - fire everybody (basically tell them to find work on their own for the next month or so), 2 - send the non-NYC company back to Chicago/London, 3 - find some NYC firm to take in all the people. Luckily, I got option number 3. The sucky thing is that I have to work in this awful engineering office. Seriously, engineering firms have the crappiest offices (you would think they would put more effort into designing their own space). I am stuck in some corner next to a humming mechanical unit with no window in sight. Oh and they don't have internet, so don't expect much correspondance from me in the next few weeks. The plus-side is my new project. I get pulled off a 3 billion dollar convention center to work on a 7 billion dollar complex designed by the famed Architect Frank Geary! It is a basketball arena for the NBA Nets bb-team (plus four towers of comercial and residential real estate). Hurrah! Resume builder - check!

Weekend recap. Friday was a good stay in night where Bree came over and tried out her cooking skills with my tupperware, pita bread, and american cheese (totally didn't eat it, but it may be able to survive a nuclear holocaust). Saturday, I met up with Chicago friends Scott and Kim. We hung out in the Meat-Packing district till they hit their bed-time (ooooold, just kidding - it takes a while to get used to the 4am lifestyle). Turns out an old sorority friend (alright get the sorority jokes out now) Shanda lives in the city. She was a blast in school, so I look forward to hanging out with her again. She is the one person in the City that could top my adventure stories. Okay enough boring recap for now.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Subway Poetry

Here is more a visual entry than verbal. I first noticed these signs within the first month of moving up here, but never documented them because I wanted to avoid looking like a total tourist. They are located in my subway station staged between the ACE and 123 lines. Well I figured if I could walk thru the subway terminal in a go-go girl Halloween costume, then I can plop myself in front of pedestrian traffic and take these pictures. Enjoy. Oh and the Bears lost.....boooo!